While it’s ridiculously early to be talking much about a product that will, in the best possible case that they’re claiming, not be available until late fall(December has been mentioned), the Kno is an interesting take on the eReader market and might address some of the reasons that the Kindle is having trouble taking off as anything but a library resource at many universities. While the Kindle is far more pleasant than any LCD for leisure reading, eye strain is usually a lesser concern for a student hitting the books.
Here’s what we know so far:
- It’s HUGE. Two linked 14″LCD touchscreens meant to accommodate a full sized textbook with note-taking capability and integrated annotation functions for textbooks
- It’s expensive. They’ve not released much information about pricing yet, but most sources and interviews about the device tend to focus on the range of $1,000
- WiFi enabled. Enough said. It’s for students and if you can find a college student without regular internet access these days, you’re likely going to a lot of trouble for it. 3G would be overkill
- Deals with McGraw Hill, Pearson, Wiley and others already in place for textbook distribution
- SDK entering Beta this year. More options are always better and it’s a safe bet that the application selection on this one will be essential
That’s about it. The size and weight will be off-putting for a lot of people. This is clearly not a leisure device for most. For students already used to carrying around multiple textbooks each the same size as and nearly the same weight as these devices, however, it makes a lot of sense. The ability to display textbooks with natural pagination, little to no scrolling, and annotation by the student has the potential to make the Kno a must-have for students. Overall, the news is cautiously optimistic.
Yes, this is simply the new incarnation of the Kakai device we reported on a while back. We’ve gotten more details and they’ve gotten more interesting since then. A second glance was merited.